Moulds and their secondary metabolites associated with the fermentation and storage of two cocoa bean hybrids in Nigeria

Taye O. Akinfala, Jos Houbraken, Michael Sulyok, Abiodun R. Adedeji, Adegboyega C. Odebode, Rudolf Krska, Chibundu N. Ezekiel

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fungi and mycotoxin contamination of cocoa beans during fermentation and storage may constitute a hazard in the cocoa value chain and risk to consumers of its products. In this study, fungal profile and secondary metabolite patterns in two cocoa bean hybrids, F and T series, during fermentation and storage were determined. Additionally, secondary metabolite production by the recovered fungi in the beans was examined in culture media. Fungal isolates spanned six genera and eight species: Aspergillus niger, A. tamarii, Paecilomyces variotii, Penicillium citrinum, Pseudopithomyces palmicola, Simplicillium sp., Talaromyces atroroseus and Talaromyces sp.. In both hybrids, Aspergilli (38%) dominated the other fungi while more than one half of all the fungal isolates were from the beans in storage. Among the diverse secondary metabolites produced in media by the isolates were uncommon compounds, e.g. aspulvinone E produced by A. niger, aspterric acid by P. variotii, scalusamid A and sydowinin A by P. citrinum, norlichexanthone and siccanol by Simplicillium, and fallacinol and orsellinic acid by Talaromyces. The strains of P. citrinum produced up to 372 mg/kg citrinin. Forty-four fungal metabolites were quantified in both bean hybrids across the various processing stages, with about 86% occurring in the fermented beans stored for 30 days. The nephrotoxic citrinin, which was not previously reported in cocoa beans worldwide, was the only mycotoxin found in the fermented beans at overall mean concentration of 368 μg/kg. Additionally, its metabolite, dihydrocitrinone, was detected in fermented and stored beans. Consumption of freshly fermented cocoa beans may result in citrinin exposure. Appropriate fungal and mycotoxin control measures are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108490
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume316
Early online date14 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Mar 2020

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